Alexandre Antonelli

Director, Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre; Professor in Systematics and Biodiversity at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg; Scientific curator at Gothenburg botanical garden.

Focus area

Antonelli's main scientific goal is to understand the evolution and distribution of biodiversity, by studying the formation, extinction, and migration of species. He is particularly interested in teasing apart the relative roles of abiotic (e.g. climate and landscape changes) and biotic (e.g. competition, adaptations) factors in determining how biodiversity has changed through space and time. To achieve these goals, he studies the distribution of species, their genetic variation, and the fossil record. Most of his work has dealt with the tropics, especially in South America where most species occur today. He leads an inter-disciplinary research group comprising students and scholars from several countries. More on his research can be found at


Alexandre Antonelli is Professor at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, Scientific Curator at Gothenburg Botanical Garden, Science advisor at Universeum Science Centre, Chairman for BioNote of Sweden AB, and Director for Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre. He has received research grants from the European Research Council, the Swedish Research Council VR, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, among others. He has been appointed as Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Future Research Leader, and member of the Swedish and the European Young Academies and the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg. He is also a PI at the Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate programme.


Biodiversity assessments, Tropical ecosystems, Genetic diversity, Evolution

Relevant publications

Zizka, A., ter Steege, H., Pessoa, M.C.R, Antonelli, A. (in press, 2017) Finding needles in the haystack: Where to look for rare species in the American tropics? Ecography.

Antonelli, A., Perrigo, A. (2016) Urbanization: factor in biological impact. Nature (540):39. doi:10.1038/540039a

Ritter, C.D., McGrate, G., Nilsson, R.H., Fearnside, P.M., Palme, U., Antonelli, A. (2017) Environmental Impact Statement: Challenges and prospects in biologically diverse environments in Brazilian Amazonia. Biological Conservation 206:161–168.

ter Steege, H., Vaessen, R. W., Cárdenas-López, D., Sabatier, D., Antonelli, A., Mota de Oliveira, S., Pitman, N.C.A., Møller Jørgensen, P., & Salomão, R.P. (2016) The discovery of the Amazonian tree flora with an updated checklist of all known tree taxa. Nature Scientific Reports 6, 29549.

Antonelli, A. (2015) Multiple origins of mountain life. Nature 524: 300-301. doi:10.1038/nature14645

See more info and scientific publications at the Antonelli Lab website.


Focali annual meeting 2022 – separate event webpage

It is once again time for Focali members, partners, and friends in our wider community to meet around current interlinked forest, climate and livelihood challenges. The Focali annual meeting, to be he ...

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